Category Archives: Nature

Sights and smells of the great outdoors.

CMMC: April Color – Light Green or Neon Green

Figuring out what was light green or neon green was the hardest part for the April color week of Cee’s Midweek Madness Challenge! Here’s what I finally chose.

Green Apples from Jack’s Tree. Central Iowa. October 2, 2017.
Frog. August 28, 2014.
New Evergreen Needles. Ankeny, Iowa. May 20, 2020.
Reiman Gardens, Iowa State University Campus, Ames, Iowa. April 13, 2021.
Panoramic Awareness Pavilion Panels (Sculpture by artist Olafur Eliasson). Pappajohn Sculpture Park, Des Moines, Iowa. January 8, 2021.

CMMC: April Close-Up or Macro

As I looked at photos I took at Reiman Gardens last Saturday (April 3, 2021), I found three of the same tree that I think work for the April’s Close-Up or Macro Cee’s Midweek Madness Challenge.

The shapes and patterns of both the flower buds and the unopened leaves are interesting.

But it was probably the color of the leaves that first caught my eye.

Because I knew I’d never remember it is a Wayfaring Tree Viburnum, I snapped a picture of the identification tag!

Challenges: Bright Square and Flower of the Day

Becky over at The Life of B is challenging us to a post a bright square photo every day in April. The only hard and fast rule is that it must be square. Since I decided to join the fun with a photo of a flower, I’m including it in Cee’s Flower of the Day Challenge as well.

Bluebells and Shadows on White Stone, Reiman Gardens, Ames, Iowa, April 3, 2021.

Reiman Gardens: “Mirror, Mirror on the Phal”

Last Friday – the day before the first day of spring – was windy but warmish. With hopes of buds on trees and new plants poking out of the ground, I grabbed my camera and headed to Reiman Gardens on the campus of Iowa State University. The discovery of the day was a special exhibit in the Hughes Conservatory: “Mirror, Mirror on the Phal.”

“Phalaenopsis orchids are like faces: if divided from top to bottom, one side reflects the other. Such symmetry occurs throughout nature. Just look around – mammals, insects, and many leaves exhibit this quality. Where can you spot symmetry?”

Reiman Gardens Website, https://www.reimangardens.com/exhibition/2021-patterns-unfolding/, 3/23/21.

“Of course, another place to see a reflection is in a mirror. The Evil Queen in Snow White made famous the phrase, “Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?” We think nature presents us with the greatest beauty, whether symmetrical or not. We see it reflected in the drama of a sunset, the simplicity of a Phalaenopsis, and even within ourselves.  At the start of 2021, we invite you to reflect and seek all the beauty you can find. Even just by looking in a mirror.”

Reiman Gardens Website, https://www.reimangardens.com/exhibition/2021-patterns-unfolding/, 3/23/21

The reflections in the hexagonal mirrors were so much fun! I’m planning to go back some afternoon – rather than the morning – just to take pictures when the sun is coming from a different direction.

They have set it up for one-way traffic through the Conservatory and masks are required. But it’s not a large place, so I was thrilled when I was the only one in there. The last photo is looking back through the exit doors.

Hoping you’ll take a few minutes to reflect on all the beauty you see – especially when looking in the mirror!

CMMC – February Pick a Topic

Cee’s Midweek Madness Challenge the third Wednesday of February is to use her picture to pick a topic (or two or more!) for your pictures. Click here to see her picture; it shows yard/gardening tools as well as a portable outhouse on a trailer with trees in the background.

Abandoned Outhouse. Neumann Ranch Dump, Montana. August 2008.

In my search for a picture (just one!) with a garden tool, I discovered photos of an old outhouse that had been hauled to the ranch dump. Tipped on its side, it’s definitely no longer in use!

Besides just general messing around with a camera in hand that day, Dad intended to dig a few potatoes. So here’s a picture of a shovel in use.

Digging Potatoes. Garden at Neuman Ranch, Montana. August 2008.

Same ranch, same characters, same intent and maybe the same shovel four years later. This time with trees in the background.

Dad Digging Taters. Garden at Neuman Ranch, Montana. August 2012.

Switching things up, I remembered an outdoor cleanup day at a church that might show some tools. To my delight, I found a photo that shows a bit of fun while getting the work done with a rake.

Caleen with Rake. Muscatine, Iowa. November 2012.

Finally, for a little winter work, here’s a broom and a snow shovel being put to good use.

John and Don Clearing the Deck. Muscatine, Iowa. December 2007.

CMMC: February Color – Blue Green

Blue Flower, Morton Arboretum, Illinois. June 2013.

Blue-Green was the February color for Cee’s Midweek Madness Challenge. I gathered the pictures and had them uploaded to share on a blogpost, but did not get around to finishing it. (Sigh.) Though more than a week behind, here it is.

Blue Hydrangea, Missouri Botanical Garden. June 2012.
Remembering Baptism, St. John UCC, Melbourne, Iowa. January 2019.
Panoramic Awareness Pavilion by artist Olafur Eliasson, Pappajohn Sculpture Park, Des Moines, Iowa. January 2021.
National Balloon Classic, Indianola, Iowa. August 2013.

CMMC – February Close-up or Macro

Rime Ice on Branches.

It was a cold and foggy morning in central Iowa. Since Cee’s Midweek Madness Challenge today is Macro or Close-up, I put on my winter boots, warmest coat, hat and gloves before heading outside with the camera to attempt to digitally capture the frost.

Rime Ice on Needles.

These are my three favorite pictures of the morning (2/3/2021). And I didn’t even have to leave the yard!

Rime Ice on Leaf.

Hope the temperature is just right wherever you are! (Indoors, with a quilt and a hot chai latte.)

+++

2/3/2021: Just learned that the white stuff on the trees this morning was not frost. It was rime ice. There’s a difference that has to do with how it formed. Since it formed from freezing fog (think water droplets), it’s rime ice.

CMMC: Alphabet – Letter W at the End of the Word

Window. Rocky Mountain College Campus, Billings, Montana. Photo: TLClark, 12/2020.

In her post for Cee’s Midweek Madness Challenge: Alphabet – Word that Ends in W, Cee included a photo of a window with a shadow that made me think of my first picture in response to the challenge. Being able to see things through the window as well as seeing the tree reflected in the window caught my attention.

Snow. Shiloh Nature Preserve, Billings, Montana. Photo: TLClark, 11/2020.

Two pictures of snow, both taken while out walking.

Snow. Ankeny, Iowa. Photo: TLClark, 1/2021.

There’s plenty of snow to photograph in central Iowa if you don’t mind being out in the cold. We finally had a day with enough sunshine to create a shadow on the snow.

Shadow on Snow. Ankeny, Iowa. Photo: TLClark, 1/2021.

As much as I like snow – and I do as long as it doesn’t interfere with safe driving – it needs balanced with a little color. Here at home, I walk by this row quilt every day. Each row in the quilt was a free pattern from a different local quilt shop. The theme was “Home Sweet Home” and the way the designers at each store chose to interpret home still makes me smile!

Row-by-Row. Pieced and quilted by TLC.

CMMC: January Pick a Topic

A few pictures in response Cee’s Midweek Madness Challenge – January Pick a Topic from [Her] Photo. All three of my photos were taken when I was in Montana visiting my parents in November and December. My topics: yellow, river, and clouds.

Yellow Building: Clarks Fork National Bank, Fromberg, MT. Photo: TLClark, 11/2020.

I took the picture of Clarks Fork National Bank in Fromberg because of the mural. But the yellow color of the building made it my first choice for Cee’s challenge.

Yellowstone River, Billings, MT. Photo: TLClark, 12/19/2020.

These two pictures were taken at Riverfront Park in Billings. It was a beautiful December morning and I thoroughly enjoyed wandering the trails and traipsing along the Yellowstone River. Figuring out which river picture to share for the challenge was a challenge itself!

Clouds over Pond. Riverfront Park, Billings, MT. Photo: TLClark, 12/19/2020.

On my way back to the parking lot, I paused to take pictures of the sky over the pond. Clouds over trees and water seem to fit Cee’s challenge.

CMMC – Word that Contains the Letter U

Mallard Ducks, Riverfront Park, Billings, Montana. Photo: TLClark, 12/31/2020.

Ducks. For Cee’s Midweek Madness Challenge – “Word that Contains the Letter U.”

Ducks in Flight, Riverfront Park, Billings, Montana. Photo: TLClark, 12/31/2020.

Rusty Nail. On a some old, falling apart piece of farm equipment.

Rusty Nail. Photo: TLClark, 11/21/2020.

Shuffle. The picture was taken in response to the Ragtag Daily Prompt last Monday but I didn’t get around to writing a post. Playing pinochle with my parents was more fun than blogging.

Shuffling Cards. Photo: TLClark, 12/28/2020.

Upside Down Umbrella. It’s a picture from a few years ago that I didn’t use for one of Dutch Goes the Photo! Tuesday Photo Challenges. (Frank, if you see this, know that you are missed.)

Upside Down Umbrella. Photo: TLCLark, 8/7/2019.

Tulips. All kinds of colors – a departure from my usual “one flower” approach.

Tulips, Reiman Gardens, Ames, Iowa. Photo: TLClark, 5/4/2018.